Land Rover's Range Rover has established itself as one of the most capable and luxurious vehicles available anywhere in the world.
Many competitive SUVs are a compromise, optimised either for road or the rough; they rarely feel at home on both. However, the Range Rover uses an advanced, all-independent front and rear suspension featuring interconnected air springs. This arrangement ensures a smooth and cosseted ride on the road, insulating the cabin and providing a constant ride height regardless of load.
The air suspension system also allows the vehicle to tackle extreme terrain, both off-road and in the urban jungle. Off-road, the air springs can be inflated to provide maximum clearance over obstacles; equally, deflation of the air springs allows Range Rover to access height-restricted car parks and gives easy passenger access.
The interior has been feted by customers and motoring experts alike as one of the finest vehicle cabins ever created. Crafted from a variety of materials, natural woods and leathers or alternatively a hi-tech 'Foundry' finish, the new Range Rover has a minimalist approach, with simple easy-to-use controls, giving occupants a cabin which surpasses many luxury saloons.
Two engines are available, a smooth 4.4-litre V8 producing 210 kW (282 PS) and a refined six-cylinder 3.0-litre turbo diesel, which produces 130 kW (174 PS). Both engines drive through state-of-the-art five-speed automatic transmissions and are equipped with electronic control as standard. This gives the driver the option of a fully automatic transmission or a manual CommandShift, which can also be used in low range for increased control when off-road.
Equipped with permanent, full-time four-wheel drive, advanced mechanicals such as the Torsen centre differential and sophisticated electronic control systems, notably traction control and Hill Descent Control (HDC), Range Rover will tackle with ease terrain that leaves many of its rivals stranded.
For the more particular buyer, a bespoke Autobiography package is also available, which allows customers to pick from a large menu of features, ranging from distinctive colour and trim combinations to entertainment extras like DVD television. It enables buyers to tailor-make a Range Rover to their exact personal requirements.Published 30 May 2004